Cadillacs are known for their soft and premium ride on all surfaces, whether on the highway or city streets. Much of this is done courtesy of the vehicle’s adaptive air suspension and magnetic struts that constantly adjust the firmness or harshness depending on road conditions. Compared to traditional gas-charged struts, magnetic units react faster, thus delivering a smoother and more comfortable ride. However, they are not without downsides, most notably being more expensive and having a shorter lifespan than their gas-charged counterparts.
An Important Safety Item
Like the brakes, struts play a valuable role in helping you stay safe. They constantly compress and rebound when driving, keeping your tires planted on the road. This affects traction and is directly related to braking and steering. However, repeated use and exposure to the elements take their toll, and over time they will wear out. Bad struts negatively impact your vehicle’s handling and braking and cause irregular tire wear.
How Can I Tell if My Struts Are Bad?
There are a few ways you can tell if the struts on your XTS are bad. The most obvious is if the vehicle sits low on one side. The suspension may bounce more than normal when driving, or the nose may dive excessively during braking. In addition, the air suspension warning light in the instrument cluster may illuminate, alerting the driver to a potential problem.
You can also test the front and rear shocks by pushing down on each corner and observing the rebound. It should spring back up and stay in place. If it bounces up and down several times, something is likely wrong with the suspension.
How Long Do Cadillac Magneride Struts Last?
The Magneride struts used in the XTS are known for their ability to quickly adapt to road conditions. However, their life expectancy is less than traditional gas-charged struts and will depend on several factors:
- Driving habits: Stop-and-go driving and frequent braking place more stress on the struts, wearing them out faster.
- Road conditions: Rough, pothole-filled city streets mean the shocks have to do more work as opposed to driving on smooth open highways.
- Vehicle weight: A heavier vehicle is harder on suspension components.
In most cases, the struts usually last between 50,000 and 70,000 miles. However, if most of your driving is on the highway, 100,000 or more is not unheard of.
While magnetic shocks offer some advantages over gas-charged units, they come with added costs. Likewise, and as with all shocks, they should be replaced in pairs. This can get expensive and may cost well over $1,000, more than some owners would like to spend, especially on an older or high-mileage vehicle.
Fortunately, there are other options, such as the Arnott coil-over strut conversion kit. It comes with custom-tuned loaded strut assemblies that match the original ride quality and handling characteristics without any input from the vehicle. This setup is more reliable and costs considerably less than the original Magneride shocks.